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School history

From its beginnings as a campus-based institution in 1976, University of Phoenix has grown to become one of the most widely recognized providers of online degree programs. The university was among the earliest American adopters of online education, inaugurating its online campus in 1989 and conducting its first online commencement ceremony in 1991.

The institution affirmed its commitment to online students in 1995, when it made its library resources available over the Internet 24 hours a day. North American enrollment reached the 200,000 mark in 2003, and the university began offering overseas programs on military bases in Europe and Asia.

Thanks in part to its dedication to online programs, the University of Phoenix has been the largest U.S. university in terms of enrollment for nearly 20 years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2012 enrollment topped 256,000 students, which is more than double the size of the second-largest student body in the country.

Distinctions

The University of Phoenix has earned numerous awards for its efforts in the nearly 40 years of educating students of all ages and backgrounds. Here's a list of some of the accolades and distinctions earned over the course of the school's history:

Award

Awarding institution

Year awarded

Top U.S. Schools for Marketers

LinkedIn University Rankings

2014

Performance Excellence Award

Arizona Quality Alliance

2012

No. 2 Overall Online Institution

Best/Worst in Online Education

2009

Top 10 Colleges Using Green Power, No. 7

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

2008

No. 2 in Master's Degree Graduates from Underrepresented Populations

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

2007

WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Award

Western Cooperative for Education Telecommunications

2005

Designated New Media Center

New Media Consortium

2003

Good Practices in Distance Education

Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education

1997

In 2015 rankings published by U.S. News and World Report, the institution cracked the list of best online graduate nursing programs in the country.

Cost to attend

Tuition and fee expenses for online degree programs can vary depending on each student's chosen program and personal circumstances. The U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports these average yearly tuition costs for full-time, first-time undergraduate and graduate students seeking degrees or certificates:

  • Undergraduate tuition, 2013-14 academic year: $10,878
  • Graduate tuition, 2013-14 academic year: $17,753

The IPEDS database also provides year-by-year data on the average net price of attendance for University of Phoenix online undergraduates, organized by student income level:

Student Income Level

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

$0 - $30,000

$16,603

$14,553

$14,166

$30,001 - $48,000

$17,685

$15,732

$15,009

$48,001 - $75,000

$19,906

$17,492

$16,727

$75,001 - $110,000

$21,451

$19,522

$18,751

$110,001 and more

$21,740

$19,346

$19,430

Financial aid

A number of scholarships, grants and other programs may be available to help defray the costs associated with a continued education. Students at Phoenix have access to hundreds of aid packages endowed by private individuals and organizations, as well as institutionally administrated options:

  • Phoenix™ Scholarship Reward Program - Full-time students who enroll in this tuition credit program can receive reduced tuition rates after successfully completing their first 24 credit hours, up to a maximum reduction of $104.17 per credit hour as of 2015.
  • Focus to the Finish Scholarship - Degree completers who meet the qualification requirements for this award, are U.S. citizens and resume their education at the University of Phoenix during the 2015 academic year can receive this grant, equal to the full amount of their tuition.
  • Alumni Scholarship - Students who have already completed one degree at the University of Phoenix and return for another can earn one of forty $3,000 scholarships, provided they are at least 6 credits into their second degree and maintain a GPA better than 3.24 at application time.

Online offerings

Online degrees are a big part of the educational model at Phoenix, and the increase in variety of subjects available online doesn't show any sign of slowing down. Students can pursue online degree programs in the arts and sciences, human services, criminal justice, business, health care, technology and psychology at the associate and bachelor's levels. Master's degrees and doctorates can be found in most of these subject areas as well, and aspiring teacher educators or education administrators can study education theory, regulation and leadership in graduate and post-graduate programs.

Highlighted programs

A select few online degree programs stand out from the pack at the University of Phoenix. Here's some detail about a few of those programs and what makes them so special:

Student life data

University of Phoenix's combination of online program offerings and broad geographical distribution contributes to a student body that's diverse in various ways. Here's a breakdown of undergraduates and graduates by age range in 2013, provided by the IPEDS database:

University of Phoenix demographic breakdown by student age (Fall 2013)

Age range

# undergraduates

# graduate students

18-19

5,255

1

20-21

13,090

95

22-24

31,752

2,735

25-29

66,372

12,403

30-34

58,255

14,355

35-39

38,828

12,085

40-49

48,680

18,634

50-64

17,845

9,459

Additionally, here are the 2013 IPEDS numbers on how University of Phoenix's student body breaks down by ethnicity:

University of Phoenix demographic breakdown by student sex/ethnicity (Fall 2013)

Ethnicity

# undergraduates

# graduate students

Caucasian

106,762

23,756

Black or African-American

52,291

16,367

Hispanic or Latino

32,186

6,029

Asian

5,057

2,224

Two or more races

5,017

648

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

2,129

516

American Indian or Alaskan Native

1,661

430

Total women

174,214

46,344

Total men

106,762

23,756

If you'd like to find out more about University of Phoenix in general, or a specific program you're interested in, scroll back up top and click the "Request Info" button below the school logo.

Sources:

"History," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/about_us/about_university_of_phoenix/history.html

"Enrollment of the 120 largest degree-granting college and university campuses, by selected characteristics and institution, Fall 2012," Digest of Education Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_312.10.asp

"DeVry University, Online Education Programs Overview," U.S. News and World Report, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/devry-university -- 52

"National Universities Rankings," U.S. News and World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities

"School of Business ranked among the top U.S. marketing schools by LinkedIn," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/colleges_divisions/business/linkedin-top-ranked-marketing-school.html

"University of Phoenix - Online Campus," IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/institutionprofile.aspx?unitId=aeb2adadacae

"Phoenix Scholarship Reward Program," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/tuition_and_financial_options/scholarships/institutional-scholarships/prospective-students/phoenix-scholarship-reward-program.html

"University of Phoenix Scholarships," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/tuition_and_financial_options/scholarships/institutional-scholarships.html

"List of External Scholarships," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/tuition_and_financial_options/scholarships/external-scholarships.html

"View all programs, Online Master's Degrees," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/degrees/online-masters.html

"Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial-Organizational Psychology," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/programs/degree-programs/psychology/masters/msp-i-o.html

"Fastest Growing Occupations," Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm

"Bachelor of Science in Information Technology," University of Phoenix, http://www.phoenix.edu/programs/degree-programs/technology/bachelors/bsit.html

"Medical and Health Services Managers," Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

University of Phoenix University Undergraduate and Graduate Demographics, University of Phoenix, Fall 2013

Disclaimer: Information on this page was not provided or commissioned by the featured school. Information has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the featured school.


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